Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Sarwat Chadda Lands 6-figure Publishing Deal

Cornerstones author, Sarwat Chadda, has landed a major book deal secured for him by his agent, Sarah Davies, from The Greenhouse Literary Agency. Says Sarah,

"I sold THE DEVIL’S KISS, plus sequel, in early March to Hyperion in the USA (part of Disney) for a major 6-figure sum. Publishing Fall 09. And simultaneously to Puffin in the UK. They publish first in Spring 09."


Biog on Sarwat Chadda

Sarwat was brought up a Muslim but is married to a minister’s daughter. He says his ‘home life curiously reflects the ongoing conflict between Islam and Christianity, especially when it comes to whose turn it is to do the dishes.’ He was brought up on stories of Saladin, Richard the Lion-heart and the Crusades, viewed from both sides, and cut his authorial teeth writing his own role-playing scenarios. He is an engineer who has worked on some of the biggest projects in the world, but now lives in London with his family.

Blurb on THE DEVIL’S KISS by Sarwat Chadda

Fifteen-year-old Billi San Greal never meant to make history. Co-opted, or rather coerced, at the age of ten into the modern-day remnant of the Knights Templar by her father, the Grandmaster, Billi’s the first girl ever to be a Templar. Her life a disciplined round of weapons’ practice, occult lore, and a heck of a lot of bruises, Billi would happily settle for being a normal high-school girl rather than a secret warrior out to defeat the Unholy.

When she meets seductive, exciting Mike, Billi is dazzled. At last here is someone she can confide in; someone who will make up for the coldness and fear of her life. But Michael is not just a heart-breaker, he’s an archangel with a terrifying agenda: to unleash the Tenth Plague – the death of all first-born children - and kids are already falling sick.

As the Templars ready for combat, it’s clear that Billi’s destiny is interwoven with that of Michael. Now she must choose who she wants to be. If she chooses the path of a true Templar, living out her terrifying heritage, it will destroy everything that matters to her. And there are some things, as Billi will discover, that are much, much worse than death . . .

Sarwat has his own interesting blog here.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Legend Press MD completes Paperbooks acquisition

Tom Chalmers, Managing Director of Legend Press, has completed the acquisition of fellow independent fiction publisher PaperBooks for an undisclosed sum. The move initially made the press when announced in April.

PaperBooks was set-up in 2006 by Keirsten Clark and its list includes Jessica Gregson, author of the internationally-acclaimed novel The Angel Makers, Royal Society of Literature prize-winner Jon Haylett, and cult comedy writer Mark Hayhurst, author of Friday at the Nobody Inn.

Legend Press was set-up with no capital in 2005 and against the market and financial odds has grown into one of the fastest upcoming independent publishers. Chalmers intends to initially run Paperbooks as a separate business, although moving into Legend Press’s office and within its supply infrastructure, with a 50% increase in number of titles published each year until 2010. The focus of both companies is to remain on fiction.

Chalmers commented:

“I’m delighted that the acquisition has been completed. Paperbooks have a fantastic brand, ethos and list of authors and we look forward to continuing and developing that. This is an exciting time for both Paperbooks and Legend Press, with many challenges in the current market but also many opportunities for the right offering.”

Clark, who had been running PaperBooks and her literary consultancy side by side will now focus solely on and the development of authors before they reach the publication stage.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Tom McCarthy News

On June 2nd
Tom will be appearing at the FESTARCH literature/art festival in Cagliari, Sardinia. He'll be discussing his novel 'Remainder' onstage
with festival curator Gianluigi Ricuperati.

Tom says,

"Vito Acconci is appearing at exactly the same time in the next room, so you can also see him instead. I'm tempted to blow my gig out myself for that."

More info here.

On June 11th Tom be in conversation with philosopher Simon Critchley at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, to mark the publication of Simon's latest work, 'The Book of Dead Philosophers'.

More info here.

The Anthology 'The Empty Page: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth' is out with Serpent's Tail in June. It includes a story by Tom, and also contributions by Shelley Jackson, J Robert Lennon, Steven Sherrill
and others.

Photo: Simon Critchley

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Cornerstones Author Lands First Book Deal

Cornerstones auth
or, Harriet Goodwin, has just landed her first two book publishing deal with Stripes Publishing, part of Magi Publications. Harriet was a winner of the SCBWI anthology competition for The Boy who fell down Exit 43 which was then snapped up by agent Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Biog on Harriet:

Harriet read medieval English at Oxford University before training as a professional singer. She sang and toured with a number of internationally acclaimed ensembles before the birth of her four children, but now concentrates on oratorio and recitals. Just after the birth of her fourth child, she had a vivid dream about a boy who fell through the surface of the Earth into the Underworld – and thus this novel was born. Harriet lives in a remote village in Staffordshire, England, with her family.

Blurb on Exit 43:

Adventurous, charming and poignant by turns, THE BOY WHO FELL DOWN EXIT 43 is a quirky debut middle grade novel that shines a whole new light on themes of loss and healing.

Finn Oliver knows he’ll never come to terms with his father’s death, but joy-riding over the moors in his mum’s beat-up old car is a quick fix of freedom and forgetting. Until the accident happens – and Finn finds himself hurtling through the wafer-thin divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.

The Underworld dwellers know all about the Other Side, crossing over every now and then to give their descendants a helping hand. But the dead don’t like what they see up above: with torrential rain and flooding pounding the moors, the fragile barrier separating the living and dead, and the fires that maintain their existence, are threatened. Their only hope is an ancient prophecy: that a mortal child and a child of the Underworld will together unlock the Firepearl from its elemental enchantments and save the dead from disaster.

Finn Oliver – battered, sad and way out of his depth – is definitely mortal. Jessie Sherratt – lonely, Victorian and with a very broken neck – is definitely dead. But this particular journey to the centre of the earth is about to get very, very complicated . . .

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

University of Liverpool Short Story & Poetry Competition

The University of Liverpool Creative Writing Society for Lifelong Learning,

is to Commemorate

‘The 2nd Annual Ted Walters International Short Story and Poetry Competition 2008.’ In Liverpool’s year as the ‘European Capital of Culture.’

1st prize Short Story Category: Competition Winner £200, Runner up will receive £50

1st Prize Poetry Category: Competition Winner £200, Runner up will receive £50.

Ted Walters, was born in Liverpool on the 17th April 1951. He grew up in the City, attending the Liverpool Collegiate School as a boy. Ted was always a very gifted communicator, with an impeccable sense of comic timing. He would often write long and hilarious letters to his friends and family, who persuaded him to try and share his talent with a much wider audience. His stories were always well received, and Ted’s writing was eventually published and broadcast on radio. Ted was a committed member of The University of Liverpool Creative Writing Society For Lifelong Learning. His enthusiasm for writing was only rivalled by his passion for football, and a life long love-hate relationship with Liverpool Football Club. Ted died of cancer of 15th August 2006.

CLOSING DATE 31st May 08.

Contact: for details and an application form.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Legend Press Sale

From today Legend Press is having a 50% sale on all titles, when purchased directly from the Legend Press website. The sale will be for a limited period only and includes a special offer of a full set of ten books for just £35.99. All purchases include full UK P&P.

This is a great chance to get your hands on discounted copies of the new titles out this Spring, including Nick Griffiths’ comic novel In the Footsteps of Harrison Dextrose, the brilliant 2008 short story collection 8 Hours and Lee Henshaw’s quirky Queer Fish in God’s Waiting Room. You can also pre-order a copy of Mark Liam Piggott’s gritty novel Fire Horses out on 31st May, which is already attracting mass media attention.

Tom Chalmers, Managing Director of Legend Press, commented:

“It may only be the start of May but we want to bring out the sun and to ensure everyone has at least one, hopefully all, of our great books to read this summer. Just think: hot weather, relaxing, fantastic book (or indoors, relaxing, great book)... We really do think we have something for absolutely everyone and so this is unmissable opportunity for readers."

For Legend Press' website click here.

2008 Orwell Prize Winner

"What I have most wanted to do ... is to make political writing into an art."

George Orwell

The winner of this years Orwell prize is Raja Shehadeh for his book Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape.

Independent on Sunday on Palestinian Walks

"Intensely political while avoiding the excesses of pure polemic, Shehadeh's account of six different Palestinian walks continually grapples with misconceptions and misinformation...Shehadeh is always engaging. There's such an eccentricity to his approach, commenting on dinosaur footprints in the rock one moment, challenging Israeli law the next... it's a remarkable way of going about things, delivering what many activists neglect to mention: the odd, slightly absurd details that really touch people; things that appear off-camera, away from news reports - things that seem real."

George Orwell is one of my favourite authors with both Animal Farm & 1984 influencing my writing. This is a great award borne out of a man with a passion to connect people with the grim realities of the political animal that is called polite society.

Also amongst the shortlist was Marina Lewycka's Two Caravans.